Courtesy of Sarah Conner (CONCORD, N.C.) — A woman with stage 4 cancer was so determined not to miss her favorite winter holiday that she decorated her home for Christmas two months early.
“There’s a good chance, unless the Lord changes his mind, that I won’t make it through Christmas and I love Christmas,” Michelle Fadel of Concord, North Carolina, told ABC News Friday. “I love that everyone is cheery, everyone’s together, everything’s lit up, everything’s pretty and you rarely see grumpy people during Christmas.
“I love being with my kids and grandkids and my husband,” she added. “Spending time together, laughing eating. We play with my grandkids [who] are from 2 to almost 10 and we have a blast together. I love sharing cookies and having the neighbors dropping in and it’s just really fun.”
Fadel, 56, was diagnosed with cancer in August 2010. It has since spread to her bones, lungs and brain.
Doctors suggested she stop chemotherapy and be placed in hospice care.
After hearing the grim prognosis, Fadel decided it was time to get into the holiday spirit early by displaying her wreath, reindeer, lights and nativity set.
Word spread on Fadel’s block and neighbors began hanging their own decorations.
“It may look a little strange this close to Halloween but we hope it makes her happy and we hope she knows we’re thinking about her,” neighbor Tim Hawkins told ABC affiliate WBTV.
Fadel said she was touched by the gesture.
“They saw us putting up decorations and I said, ‘I love Christmas and I’m probably not going to get one this year’ and it didn’t take long until our next door neighbor started putting the lights out and telling people about it,” Fadel said. “We did what we always do, we cried. It was so sweet.”
About 12 houses are decorated for Christmas on her block.
Fadel’s husband Daniel is collecting everyone’s present wishlist and will soon put up a Christmas tree so the couple, their three children and six grandchildren can celebrate the holiday.
“It is painful when they realize the woman who’s dying is me,” Fadel said of her family. “We do have our moments, but I have a choice. I get to enjoy the days I have left, or I’ll be sad. I have a lot of things to be happy about because I know where I’m going. I’m going to heaven, so I’m going to be healed one way or the other. That gives me a lot of joy.”
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